Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Linfield to consider Setanta Cup future

Linfield boss David Jeffrey

Irish League champions Linfield are “seriously considering” pulling out of the Setanta Sports Cup, chairman Jim Kerr revealed yesterday.

“Our Board has examined increasing areas of concern, especially with the proposal that it be staged next season over weekends from September to April in three groups of three with some matches played on a Saturday,” he said.

“This would be a further intrusion into our Northern Ireland domestic season.”

Irish League clubs are also likely to put forward proposals preferring the tournament be operated on a home and away knock- out basis with a re-examination made of how the lucrative sponsorship cash is allocated.

“There is a lot of money for the finalists but I feel organisers must look at what the other clubs receive” Kerr added.

Clubs are to ask the Premiership delegates to assert their influence and authority as many contend this series has now become much too Southern orientated. Northern clubs’ approach will be a unified one.

Linfield, inaugural winners, were eliminated by Derry City in the Group stage this season with Glentoran defeating Drogheda United to go through to the final against Cork City which was a boost for the Irish League.

Glentoran are fuming the final will be staged in Cork but they will be given some form of travel assistance. Linfield have also forwarded a letter to the Setanta Disciplinary Committee drawing attention to alleged industrial language remarks made by a match official to captain Noel Bailie in the recent match with Derry City at Brandywell.

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